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A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Iceland

A juvenile/first-winter male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius was discovered by Halldór Magnússon and his wife Erla Rúna Kristjándóttir, in their garden at Selfoss (S) on 7 October 2007. They noticed this odd-looking bird in the morning and managed to contact local birder Örn Óskarsson in the late afternoon. He saw the bird half-an-hour after sunset, took several record photographs in the dark and confirmed the identification. This, naturally, provoked a complete panic during the next hours when the news broke out like lightning !! In the first hours of daylight on 8 October no less than 12 birders managed to observe the sapsucker where it was in the exact same birch tree. And in the course of the day at least 23 birders had caught up with it making this Iceland's biggest ever one-day twitch. It even managed to get into National TV in the evening news (link). We can't thank the householders enough for letting us stay inside their house and providing us with fresh coffee and pancakes! Hopefully the bird will remain for several days.
A video of the bird can be viewed on the Gavia Travel website.

There is one accepted record of this species in Iceland; an adult female found long dead at Fagurhólsmýri/Örćfi (SE) on 5 June 1961. Two more have been recorded in the Western Palearctic, in England (Isles of Scilly) and Ireland. - YK/08.10.2007

- click on the photos to enlarge -

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Björn Arnarson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Stefán Áki Ragnarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Örn Óskarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Yann Kolbeinsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
8 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Yann Kolbeinsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
7 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Örn Óskarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
7 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Örn Óskarsson

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Safaspćta - Sphyrapicus varius
2nd for Iceland
Selfoss (S)
7 October 2007

Juvenile male.
View the status of this species in Iceland.

© Örn Óskarsson






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